This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
After missing out on promotion to the Premier League last season, losing to Midlands rivals Aston Villa in the play-off semi-finals, West Brom are looking to go again this season. They’ve built the foundations of their challenge, going unbeaten in their first nine Championship games of the season.
However, their unbeaten run ended on Tuesday night when Kyle Bartley deflected a ball into his own net as West Brom lost top spot to Leeds United. However, Bartley seems to be leading the club’s charge for promotion from the centre of defence with his performances this campaign.
The Englishman joined the Baggies back in the summer of 2018 for a fairly nominal fee believed to be £4m (per the Express and Star) from Swansea City. Indeed, it’s fair to say that the move is proving to be a shrewd one from a West Brom point of view.
Bartley slowly felt his way into the team in the 2018/2019 season making 30 appearances in the Championship. However, in this campaign he has already made a third of those appearances, showing considerable improvement.
Last season, Bartley averaged 3.8 clearances and was dribbled past 0.3 times per game. This season has seen a big improvement, with the 28-year-old already averaging 4.7 clearances and having not been dribbled past (via WhoScored).
More impressively, Bartley’s good form has kept Ahmed Hegazi out of the side following his return from injury. The Egyptian international played 38 of the 46 Championship games last season but can’t get himself past Bartley, who is so far having a great season.
At £4m, Bartley looks to be a bargain, and if Premier League promotion can be achieved, his value is sure to increase even further.
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